Pain and Suffering Damages
Pain and Suffering is one of the major claims for compensation in any serious personal injury case. Following an injury from one of the many car accidents occurring daily in Houston or any other accident as a result of negligence, such as medical malpractice or nursing home negligence, plaintiffs are entitled to compensation for hurting – for pain and suffering – and mental anguish endured from the time of the incident through trial.
Plaintiffs may also be entitled to compensation for anticipated pain and suffering, particularly in cases where there is physical impairment such that the injuries are permanent, disabling, or otherwise long term.
A person’s pain and suffering can be the most valuable damage element in a bodily injury claim filed in Texas and should not be overlooked. Contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer such as Michael P. Fleming can help you evaluate and present your claim.
What is Pain & Suffering?
Legally, pain and mental anguish are often considered to be the same thing and has been defined by the courts to mean “the conscious pain and emotional pain, torment and suffering” experienced by an accident victim.
It is impossible to list all of the items that encompass an individual’s subjective complaints that make up pain and suffering. Pain and suffering means the trauma you and your body suffered when you experienced the impact at the time of the accident or incident.
Pain and suffering includes the mental awareness and subsequent anguish you felt when you appreciated or became aware that the incident was imminent and you were about to suffer serious bodily harm. Pain and suffering includes any anxiety or fear you endured knowing you would undergo a serious medical procedure that may or may not relieve you of pain. Pain and suffering includes embarrassment you felt as you succumbed to medical examinations.
How to Prove Pain & Suffering?
Because pain and suffering is subjective – cannot be felt by anyone other than the person experiencing it – the nature of this element of damages is often minimized by insurance adjusters. However, with proper presentation, a jury is given latitude in calculating its award, and plaintiffs can receive compensation for this “non-economic” but still very important element of their claim.
Can You Sue a Company in Houston for Emotional Distress?
In every serious personal injury case, there is a claim for mental anguish and the physical pain that causes it. When a company is responsible for the injuries sustained by the victim, it can and usually is held liable for the emotional distress, mental anguish and pain that it caused.
How do you Calculate the Amount of Compensation for Pain & Suffering?
Juries always have to put a dollar figure on the amount that should be awarded in damages for pain and suffering. The jury does this during their deliberations.
Some juries place a “value” on pain and suffering by deciding what it would be worth to suffer as the plaintiff did for say an hour and then extend that for the time of the suffering. For instance, if a child suffered a compound fracture and suffered until it was set in a cast 8 hours later, the jury might decide an amount that they would think fair to suffer to that degree for an hour and then multiply that amount by eight. This can be done for longer times such as days, weeks, months or even years for longer lasting disabilities caused by an accident. For more information on evaluating a personal case, see many answers about this in our Personal Injury FAQ.
Family members, physicians, classmates, and friends may all be sources to offer helpful information as to how you endure and cope with your pain. Photographs of your injuries or a video of your surgical procedure offer insight as to the level of pain one would expect.
Skilled trial lawyers know where and how to present a person’s pain and suffering to a jury. If you or a loved one has been the victim of an injury caused by a car accident in Houston or other negligent actions, contact Michael P. Fleming, former Harris County Attorney today. Call 713-221-6800.